In came three large men, all looking pale as they squirmed under Qiu Yuanlie’s scrutiny. Qiu Yuanlie was an intense character, and was very strict towards his subordinates, so they were all respectful towards him.
Qiu Yuanlie was a worldly person, and frowned upon the sight of his subordinates. He asked lowly, "Trouble?"
Seeing Qiu Yuanlie’s frown, the three of them felt a sudden chill in their hearts. They exchanged glances, and finally the man who stood in the middle braced himself and answered, "Yes."
"Tell me more," Qiu Yuanlie picked up the bitter pine wood carved teacup from his table and sipped carefully, looking at ease with himself, unhurried and not as intense as he was.
The trio were encouraged by the lack of reprimands from Qiu Yuanlie, knowing that they had been spared. They quickly reported the situation in exaggerating fashion.
They did not see the enemy, only just beginning to go into a surrounding formation when the enemy moved first, as though anticipating their movements. The attack came without warning, and was very powerful, instantly destroying one Aren mech, which ended in an explosion. The sudden explosion caught the other mechs off guard. Chaos ensued, and their target took this opportunity to escape from their enveloping formation.
The target’s mech was unknown. His attack strategy was unknown. His whereabouts were unknown.
At this point, the trio could not help but blush out of embarrassment of their failure.
Qiu Yuanlie kept silent. The target’s abilities were beyond his expectations. However, knowing that he was supported by a capable Maverick, it was not strange for him to realize their plans beforehand. The fact that the target could destroy an Aren with a single hit was surprising to him. Aren was the Alliance’s special made battle mech, armed with powerful weapons for close and long range distances. While its armaments were a little inferior compared to that of the Three Forces, it was comparable in other respects. Hence, Aren was impressive in the battlefield.
Aren mech pilots were systematically trained by the Alliance. They had to be excellent in shooting and mech combat. In one-on-one battles, Aren mechs would fare well against any of the mechs from the Three Forces. Average mechs could not hope to win againt an Aren - only the Sanctuary’s Darn, Black Cove’s Stellar Flare and the MPA’s Messenger were on the same level. To destroy an Aren with one hit, then escape from the attack formation of a squad of 19 Arens - that was only achievable with an advanced mech from any of the Three Forces, most probably one of their trump cards.
All these thoughts flashed through Qiu Yuanlie’s mind in the blink of an eye.
The combined power of a trump card and a Maverick was not insignificant.
Qiu Yuanlie waved, signalling his subordinates to leave. The three felt like they were magnanimously forgiven, and quickly left Qiu Yuanlie’s room.
The use of the Alliance’s trump cards was a hassle, but that was never Qiu Yuanlie’s intention. No matter how strong a trump card was, it could not win against numbers. The Freedom Alliance had an important advantage over the Three Forces, and that was their strength in numbers.
Once he activated Level Two Emergency protocol, it would not be easy even for a trump card to leave this city unnoticed. However, with a capable Maverick’s assistance, Qiu Yuanlie’s efforts would not be enough.
"A Maverick …" Qiu Yuanlie’s eyes glowed intensely. A Maverick can only be stopped by another Maverick.
It had been about two decades since he had last seen action himself. The thought of his glorious days in the virtual world long ago made his blood boil with vigor. In just the blink of an eye, 20 over years
had passed! Qiu Yuanlie felt a touch sentimental.
It had been over 20 years ago since he did something of grand significance for the Alliance. The mission was difficult, but he had accomplished it flawlessly. It was his flawless performance that won him the position of the Intelligence Division’s General soon after. He held the position for two decades. Aside from the early years since he joined, he had improved the Division to the point where he rarely needed to do things himself anymore. For more than a decade ever since, he had never been in the field. Even when the Three Forces become exposed to the world earlier, he stayed behind the scenes.
While it had been more than a decade, this did not mean that he had grown weak. Everyday, he spent long hours researching in computations. Compared to his younger self, he was no longer as imaginative, but now, he was infinitely better at rigorous computations.
It looked like it’s time for him to enter the field!
Fortunately, Ye Chong had investigated the city in detail to the point where he could memorize the local geography, else Mu’s proposed escape route would have been wasted on him.
For now, Ye Chong had already broken through his 18th wall. To avoid the enemy’s patrols, Ye Chong had to move through people’s homes. Of course, meeting the inhabitants was unavoidable, but Ye Chong always hit them unconscious before they could react to his presence. Thanks to Ye Chong’s earlier efforts in learning biology, he had a better grasp of how to make someone unconscious efficiently.
Killing was not pleasant business, and Ye Chong was not bloodthirsty. He did not know of alternatives in his early days, but now that he had choices, most of which were more efficient and effective, there was no longer the need to kill.
Looking at the time, Ye Chong had taken three minutes to reach where he was now. If all went well, he would reach Coxcomb in another 10 minutes. Once he entered Coxcomb, he would be safe. Coxcomb was now armed to the teeth. Moreover, with its new engines and firepower, escape would not be too difficult.
Ye Chong thought as he ran without slowing down.
Another wall was upon him, and Ye Chong punched straight into it without hesitation.
Crack! A soft sound, followed by a crack that spreaded out like a spiderweb.
Ye Chong paused. The first 18 walls he dismantled were all crushed with his fists. Ye Chong’s punches may look like normal, but they were powered by energy manipulation techniques from the Lan Family of September, and were very powerful. More importantly, using this technique to break through walls would not be too noisy.
However, this wall only yielded slightly with a crack. The expected hole in the wall was not to be.
Ye Chong reached forward and lightly knocked on the wall. The composite material came crumbling down like raindrops. Ye Chong was startled, and quickly began to move. His hands were everywhere, catching all the crumbling pieces that fell from the wall.
He caught the pieces, then placed them softly on the ground. Ye Chong’s figure moved in a blur.
The entire process was silent. Ye Chong was thankful that his hands were fast enough, or the pieces falling to the ground would have alerted the people in the house. However, even with Ye Chong’s speed, the crumbling pieces strained him to his limit.
The entire process was over in less than 10 seconds, but Ye Chong was already drenched in sweat.
Luckily, he did not miss any of the pieces.
Ye Chong breathed in deeply a few times and calmed his breathing. The situation was over quickly, but it had drained Ye Chong a lot. It was even more tiring than breaking through the first 18 walls.
Looking beyond the wall, however, Ye Chong groaned.
It was an alloy wall! A solid alloy wall was sandwiched between two walls made of average composite material. This kind of security would only be available in powerful families. Since they spent this much effort in walls, it was only natural that there would be guards in the house.
This was a problem for Ye Chong. Now was not a good time for battle. Ye Chong believed that if his punch was slightly louder, he would now be overcome by an overwhelming swarm of mechs.
However, according to Shang’s route, he had to pass through this place. Ye Chong ran to a window, carefully peering outside. There were many mechs outside, way more than he expected. There were also a few unfamiliar models. Ye Chong quickly retreated from the window.
It looked like the inhabitants beyond the wall must be someone influential and powerful. While he did not know exactly who it was, the fact was clear as day.
Ye Chong was troubled.
However, there was no time to hesitate. In fact, he had no choice. If he did not reach Coxcomb in 10 minutes, then he would surely die here.
In another battlefield, the action was also heating up.
The atmosphere inside Coxcomb was tense. Everyone stayed in the control room. Little Rock sat solemnly behind the photon processor, data flowing out of the machine like a waterfall. If Ye Chong was there, he must thought it looked very familiar.
Soon, the information displayed before Little Rock stopped refreshing, and transformed into a hive-like network. Little Rock went into action - he must help Mu do some calculations. Little Rock’s talent in computations was approved by Mu. To win Mu’s approval and work alongside him, showed just how impressive Little Rock’s achievements were in this field.
Days of working together allowed Little Rock and Mu to cooperate rather seamlessly. They communicated through the photon processor without speaking a word. The entire control room was silent, and tension was thick. Lian Yue could only watch helplessly, no longer in the mood for his own research. Even if he wanted to, all of Coxcomb’s photon processor were now used by Mu to defend against this super powerful Maverick.
Lian Yue paced around the room anxiously.
Zhu Ling sat quietly with her eyes closed, deep in meditation. Beside her, Overwing stood like a guardian angel.
Confrontation was imminent!